The great puritan pastor Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) spoke these informing words: “we know metals by their tinkling, and men by their talking.”
Isn’t it amazing how your words (though they may be few or many), can unveil your entire character? Usually you can guess what someone’s passion is by listening to what frequently comes from his or her lips. In addition to this, our words are not only revealing, but they can also be dangerous. Consider the following proverb, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19).
James 3:1-12 is a classic passage on the topic of speech. James begins by warning his readers that not many of them should become teachers, knowing that they “will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1). This is a very important truth all preachers and teachers need to understand. To be negligent due to a lack of study or to be crass so as to “relate” or to get a response is unacceptable. Such actions ought not to mark the preacher of the word of God. The preacher and teacher will stand before God one day and give an account. With this in view, Continue reading
I have been a Christian now for about 17 years. The more I learn the more I realize I don’t know. God has a funny way of humbling us and making us realize that we are not the centre of the universe, we are not what is most important. One of the greatest challenges any Christian faces is the life-long process of “denying ourselves‘ (Matt 16:24) and “walking in the Spirit” (Gal 5:17), or in other words living our lives to please God and not primarily ourselves. We will never fully realize this until we go to be with our Lord in heaven.
Jesus said “if you love me you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). It’s pretty clear. If we say we love God, we will inevitably strive to obey Him, to allow His Spirit within to refine us so that, bit-by-bit, we reflect His character. This is to glorify God’s work in our lives as well being a beacon to the hope Jesus gives to us all. What a privilege… what a blessing… what a calling on our lives!
Why then do we often struggle so much to see this in our lives? Why do we find ourselves so enticed to feed our own self-absorbed desires rather than God’s? Why do we struggle so much at times to walk with God and follow His lead in our lives?
Here are three points that I believe can help us all to follow and enjoy God more in our lives: Continue reading
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Excerpted from the Focus on the Family broadcast “Friendship or Flirtation: Danger Signs for Couples” featuring the Rev. Dave Carder.
19 Dangerous Behaviors
- Saving topics of conversation for your “special friend.”
- Sharing spousal difficulties with your friend (e.g., “My husband (or wife) never … “).
- Allowing the friend to share their relationship difficulties with you (e.g., “My boy/girlfriend always … “).
- Anticipating seeing this person more than your spouse.
- Comparing the friend and your spouse (“If only my spouse was nicer to me like s/he is … “). Continue reading